Lick




Intro

project type Multimedia Performance
year 2021



What is most fascinating in Jazz to me is how the melodies from different instruments come together to form such rich harmony. The motion of converging and dispersing of the various elements was always interesting to me and I wanted to encapsulate that through my visual-musical language.

Drawing from ‘Lick’ in Jazz, a stock musical phrase to be used in improvisers’ rendition, I linked it with the digital objects we could find on the internet and the event space: found footages, found audio loops, and found stage props from the theater.








Process

The main idea of this work was the motion of converging and dispersing of the different objects. No hard-working logic, just the feels.

First, I started with how I make music - collecting all the music loops on the internet (sometimes it is just the random sounds) and continuously editing, layering and pacing in Ableton ‘til I hit the flow that I can empathize with. I enjoyed collaging various fragments of the internet and went on creating ambiguous spaces with it.

I composed the music into 5 different chapters:

1) Cosmic
Where it opens the performance in a different space and time.
2) Segmentation
Where it translates the motion of diverging.
3) Eternity Prelude
Where it anticipates the viewers/listeners of the next chapter.
4) Fusions
Where things collide into each other.
5) Repeat til the end
Where the fragments continuously intertwine til the end.


Slowly and steadily I looked into the 50 music loops and linked them to how it would look if it was an image, not an audio clip. After laying them out in my launch pad, I linked Ableton with the VJing software to live cast the video fragments when I trigger the music loops.

As the performance was happening in Esplanade, the theater space in Singapore, I had access to the random stage props that were in the storage. I choreographed the movement so that the props can gather and disperse throughout the chapters with the help of two other friends on the stage. 
















 






Final

Throughout the 20-30 minutes show time, I played the ‘Lick’ track through Ableton which triggered the allocated short videos to appear on the screen in layers.

Considering the wide open space where the stage was located, I wanted to impose the backstage vibe in the open environment - where everything is constantly moving and evolving.

A lot of people asked what am I trying to say with Lick. I still can’t answer with ‘what’ I was trying to say, but I can answer with ‘how’ I was trying to say it. Lick opened the possibility of making art just as I make music, and how we can expand the boundaries of art to be breezier.